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Friday, April 21, 2017

Links - 21st April 2017 (2)

‘No pork’ restaurants can be penalised for trying to confuse Muslims, says ministry officer - "The Domestic Trade, Consumerism and Co-operatives Ministry can act against restaurants with “no pork” sign, purportedly for attempting to deceive Muslim consumers into dining there... An enforcement director told the newspaper that the sign does not mean a restaurant is classified “halal” or permissible under Islam, and thus action can be taken under Sections 28 and 29 of the Trade Descriptions Act 2011 for attempting to confuse Muslims through Quranic verses and objects... The newspaper also quoted Malaysian Islamic Consumer Association (PPIM) as urging Federation of Malaysian Consumer Association to act on restaurants with “no pork” signs, saying that it raises doubts on whether food and beverages in these premises meet the criteria of Jakim standards... In August 2014, PPIM had urged authorities to compel food outlets to display their halal or non-halal signs more prominently to protect Arab tourists ignorant of Malaysia’s cultural diversity."

Report: After crackdown, hardware traders label all paint brushes as non-halal - "Some hardware traders in Johor Baru have taken to tagging all their paint brushes as non-halal for fear of reprisal from authorities after a recent clamp down on those made of pig bristles... there was little demand for halal brushes but he would order synthetic ones for customers who insisted. “Nylon brushes are not sought after because nylon does not hold paint well and is impractical” Tan was quoted as saying... “It does not make sense for us to keep sending paint brushes for tests at the laboratory before selling them. “Just to be safe, I have also put up tags to inform customers that all my paint brushes are non-halal,” the 36-year-old was quoted as saying. Chan said he might lose a few customers in the process, but he was willing to do so then to risk having his stock confiscated. National news agency Bernama yesterday reported Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin saying that his ministry seized 2,003 paintbrushes made with pig bristles worth almost RM11,000 in a nationwide “crackdown”. He reportedly said the brushes were confiscated under the Trade Descriptions (Goods Made from any Part of Pig or Dog) Order 2013, which states that such products must be labelled and separated from other goods, Punishments for violations of the minister’s order are RM100,000 fines, three years’ jail or both for individuals, while corporations face fines of up to RM250,000. Subsequently, Muslim Consumer Association of Malaysia (PPIM) called for a logo to differentiate items containing pig-derived parts to inform the “not that smart” Muslim consumers."
It seems Malaysia has a lot of stupid Muslims

Dear God, save us from the Church dipping sauce - "I am referring to the two Muslims who commented on the Texas Chicken Malaysia (TCM) FB page which has gone viral since. The first Muslim urged TCM to explain its dipping sauce, branded “Church”, claiming that “Muslims do not eat food from church brand.” Upon TCM’s clarification that “Church” is the surname of the company’s founder, the second Muslim suggested that the brand name be changed as a sign of respect to Muslim customers. Wow. Seriously I had no idea that dipping a piece of chicken into a sauce branded “Church” could weaken our faith. Perhaps these people are genetically related to those folks in Taman Medan whose faith were shaken at the sight of a cross hanging on a church building. And yes, they should also be distant relatives of those people who made a fuss of clothes shaped like “T”... Some of the people I work with even make a big fuss over dining at eateries owned by non-Muslims even when certified halal. Somehow they believe the nons have a hidden agenda, as if serving Muslims with non-halal food gives them great satisfaction. I have also met Muslim friends who are reluctant to allow their children to swim in the same pool as non-Muslim kids. Perhaps their Muslim identity would peel off by sharing the same pool. And just recently, a Muslim friend of mine got real annoyed with her parents for advising her not to get too close to her non-Muslim friends... If serving “Church” sauce is insensitive to Muslim feelings, isn’t attaching the “Bismillah” phrase to everything we do insensitive to non-Muslim feelings?"

Most Germans Think the Press Is Lying to Them About Refugees - "The criticism is mainly directed at reporting on the refugee crisis. According to a recent survey by the Allensbach Institute, a respected German polling firm, only a quarter of Germans believe that the media paint a correct picture of the level of education and share of women and children among incoming refugees... many more journalists sympathize with the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) or the Green Party than the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU). "No wonder conservatism is being wiped out.""

Storm of reaction to news Syrian refugee charged with sex assaults - "Soleiman Hajj Soleiman, 39, was arrested Saturday and charged with six counts of sexual assault and six counts of sexual interference after six teenage girls, all younger than 16, told police they were inappropriately touched while swimming at the West Edmonton Mall water park... Mohamed Huque, executive director of the Islamic Family and Social Services Association, said reports about Soleiman's refugee status unfairly vilified an entire community... Huque said the suspect's immigration status is not relevant to the crime, and journalists had a duty to keep those details out of their coverage. He said news outlets, including CBC, are often inconsistent in their reporting on the racial backgrounds of suspects. Media reports must take into account the everyday discriminations newcomers to Canada often face, Huque said."
It's always easier to shoot the messenger

Protesters destroy pristine ND environment to protest low probability that the environment will be damaged in future - "This seems to be the “logic” of the protesters who opposed the 1.5 mile completion of the 1,700 mile Dakota Access Pipeline near the Cannonball River in North Dakota: We’ll destroy the pristine environment today in North Dakota, including the destruction of grass on 50 acres of pristine land (see photos below) where the camps were located due to “the unauthorized placement of structures, vehicles, personal property and fires,” creating great environmental risk of soil erosion and contaminated sediment runoff during possible spring flooding, to protest the almost non-existent chance that there could be some future environmental damage from the pipeline"

Pakistani court bans Valentine's day - "The court's order came after a petition was submitted by a citizen called Abdul Waheed -- who claimed that ongoing promotions of Valentine's Day were "against the teachings of Islam and should be banned immediately.""

Georgetown Islamic Studies Professor: Slavery OK, So is Non-Consensual Sex - "A professor at Georgetown University is teaching his students that men do not need consent to have sex with women, and that slavery is justifiable under Islamic teachings"

What would happen if the world suddenly went vegetarian? - "Around one-third of the world’s land is composed of arid and semi-arid rangeland that can only support animal agriculture. In the past, when people have attempted to convert parts of the Sahel – a massive east-to-west strip of Africa located south of the Sahara and north of the equator – from livestock pasture to croplands, desertification and loss of productivity have ensued. “Without livestock, life in certain environments would likely become impossible for some people,” Phalan says. That especially includes nomadic groups such as the Mongols and Berbers who, stripped of their livestock, would have to settle permanently in cities or towns – likely losing their cultural identity in the process. Plus, even those whose entire livelihoods do not depend on livestock would stand to suffer. Meat is an important part of history, tradition and cultural identity... Animal products contain more nutrients per calorie than vegetarian staples like grains and rice, so choosing the right replacement would be important, especially for the world’s estimated two billion-plus undernourished people. “Going vegetarian globally could create a health crisis in the developing world, because where would the micronutrients come from?”"

This Girl's Hilarious Rant About Why Sunfish Are Awful Was Shut Down By A Marine Biologist - "“That dude [dude] has no idea what he’s talking about!” begins the retort. According to the marine biologist, any animal that eats mainly jellyfish is helping the environment, because overfishing of the ocean has led to a huge increase in the amount of the squidgy jelly animals. Then the whole rant is fact-checked. Sunfish aren’t drifters, and are active swimmers, controlling where they go with as much thrust as a penguin. “Not bad for a 5,000 pound fish head with wings.”"
How come it became a dude?

UK TV drama Cold Feet digitally alters Singapore footage deemed too English - "when they returned from filming, what was shot was considered not authentic enough because the crew had filmed scenes in what was described as Singapore's "Englishtown". "They actually did shoot this in Singapore, but for some reason they shot it in 'Englishtown'. You know, we have a Chinatown in London, they have an Englishtown in Singapore," Millar said in the report. He added: "When we saw the rushes we thought they actually had filmed this in Manchester, but we only belatedly discovered they really did shoot it in Singapore." Molinare was then tasked with adding authenticity to the scenes, such as changing English signs to Chinese, adding specific buildings into the background and removing British tourists, Radio Times reported. “We had to make it look a bit more like Singapore – given it was Singapore,” Millar said in the report."

Ibn Warraq - Timeline - "The great ideas of the West—rationalism, self-criticism, the disinterested search for truth, the separation of church and state, the rule of law and equality under the law, freedom of thought and expression, human rights, and liberal democracy—are superior to any others devised by humankind. It was the West that took steps to abolish slavery; the calls for abolition did not resonate even in Africa, where rival tribes sold black prisoners into slavery. The West has secured freedoms for women and racial and other minorities to an extent unimaginable 60 years ago. The West recognizes and defends the rights of the individual: we are free to think what we want, to read what we want, to practice our religion, to live lives of our choosing. In short, the glory of the West, as philosopher Roger Scruton puts it, is that life here is an open book. Under Islam, the book is closed"

ICA - Response to 'Stumped by what's classified' (Straits Times Online, 22 Feb 2010) - "Security guards at buildings, condominiums and other premises are not authorised by the regulations to retain a visitor's NRIC. However, it is not illegal for them to do so if the visitor authorises them to hold his NRIC as a condition for entry in exchange for a visitor's pass. This is a private arrangement between the two parties concerned. But the law provides that any misuse of the confidential information by anyone acting without authorisation is actionable."
Of course if you don't give them your IC you can't go in

BBC World Service - The Documentary, The Colony - "'If you won you got a medal with a quote from the Bible on it.'
''I have a goodly heritage'. Everybody's interested in eugenics. It was sort of like the environmental movement of its day... everybody was a eugenicist because they were innocent of all the crimes that would be committed in its name at that time'...
He wanted to sterilise Carrie. To sever her fallopian tubes so she couldn't have children. So the case went all the way to the Supreme Court in 1927, and the justices voted 8 to 1 in favor of sterilising Carrie Buck. They said basically not only is it constitutional to sterilise her, it would be irresponsible not to...
'You could be sterilised for being blind, deaf, apoleptic, feeble minded as they said. Sometimes just for being poor'
'Poverty had a medical diagnosis. Pauperism. Basically if you were seen as a drain on society you were a candidate'"

Black as Hell, Strong as Death, Sweet as Love - "An old Turkish proverb perfectly describes the country’s unique take on my favorite caffeinated beverage: “Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love”

Why do women physicians work fewer hours than men physicians? - "Because of the large public investment in medical education, it is important to understand why women physicians work significantly less than men physicians. National survey data on office-based private practice physicians were used to estimate (using two-stage least squares technique) hours and weeks worked for men and women physicians separately. Contrary to conventional wisdom, shorter work weeks for women physicians are not the result of child care responsibilities. Nor would higher earnings encourage women physicians to work longer hours. Instead, we found significant work reductions among married women physicians (but not men), implying subordination of careers by women where combined family incomes are high."

The Best Welfare Reform: Give Poor People Cash - "When governments give people in-kind support like food, it frequently costs more to deliver that support than it would to distribute cash—and for the same or even a lesser impact. Jesse Cunha of the Naval Postgraduate School conducted a randomized trial of cash versus in-kind transfers in rural Mexico. In addition to finding that cash recipients didn’t spend more on tobacco or alcohol, Cunha learned that those who received cash experienced the same improvements in nutrition and child-health measures as those who received food. But the food program cost at least 20 percent more to administer, and the cash program led to significantly higher non-food consumption by recipients. In other words: At less cost to the government, cash programs led to the same health outcomes as food-based programs, but also provided additional resources for recipients to spend on schooling, medicine, and transport. This is not a one-off finding... Cash also has a larger multiplier effect. Bring food from elsewhere to an area, and the impact of that food stops with those who eat it. Give people cash and they spend it on goods provided by local farmers and traders, who are often poor themselves and benefit as well... Perhaps most important, cash transfers often lead to productive investments... As in the Mexican cash-transfer program, spending on alcohol and tobacco did not rise after the transfer. Perhaps that’s because recipients felt less need for a pick-me-up: They reported feeling happier after the transfer, and tests of cortisol in saliva revealed lower biomarkers for stress"

Black Lives Matter Toronto Co-Founder Needs To Resign - "normally my white skin would admittedly preclude me from even suggesting that a black activist should hang up the megaphone, but Khogali has made a habit of directing violent, hateful language towards people with white skin, so much so that I feel comfortable calling her out. She once mused that just by having white skin, white people are sub-human. She tried to qualify that statement by saying white people did not have a high amount of melanin, which prevents them from absorbing light, and with it a sense of moral clarity. Now, maybe if this was her only controversial statement all could be forgiven, but this is a pattern of hate that can't be ignored any longer. In April 2016 Khogali tweeted "Plz Allah give me strength to not cuss/kill these men and white folks out here today. Plz Plz Plz.""
When even the Huffington Post calls you out...

I Helped Create the Milo Trolling Playbook - "people are really giving the alt-right exactly what they want. One of the best ways to sow and exploit division is to look for moral hypocrisy. With the Planned Parenthood stunt, we were able to say: “Look, you claim to care about reproductive rights, yet you are turning down $500,000.” (Your smarter fans appreciate the brilliant trolling and your dumber fans really buy the argument). When protesters try to revoke someone’s right to speak or when someone like Richard Spencer is physically assaulted on camera, you’re not intimidating anyone—you’re emboldening them. You’re giving them a wonderful recruiting tool. They’re laughing all the way to the bank. That’s what’s so misguided about what happened at UC Berkeley. From what I understand, most of the violence was perpetrated by infiltrators who were looking to sow chaos and destruction. Yet many of the peaceful protesters and organizers have admitted that they too were attempting to shut down Milo’s talk. The last thing you ever want to do is give an opponent the moral high ground—and attempts to suppress, intimidate and revoke constitutional rights do exactly that... It’s easy to sound smart and provocative when you’re the underdog. It’s easier to be reckless when you have nothing to lose. It’s also easier to create a united front when you really are being persecuted or attacked—when you’re an outsider"
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